Sunday, April 17, 2005

How Did Ed Asner Get So Smart? The Book Meme

Before New Wave and Hip Hop - but post-punk - there used to be a commercial that ran all the time on one of the five or six television networks that featured a precocious youngster and post-Mary Tyler Moore but pre-Lou Grant actor Ed Asner.

Ed Asner would bark, "Hey, kid. How'd you get so smart?"

The freckle-faced boy would answer in a smart-ass manner with one word: "Reading."

Story of my life.

Or at least a story that I saw on the t.v. in my life which probably influenced me as much as Big Bird and Ernie (though it's probably Bert and Oscar's fault that I'm such a grouchy asshole).

What the f - is for fuck - am I blogging about?

Haven't you heard that there's a book meme going around?

What the h - is for Hell - is a book meme?

I guess it's sort of a cyber chain letter. I don't know what the penalty is for breaking the chain, but since the meme's about books I'll do the right thing this time and be a conformist.

Tas got tagged and then tagged me, along with Jesse, Newswriter, Max, Chepooka, and Asia , so now I got to do the same (I think the rule is tag three, but I'll tag five at the end also).

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?

Every couple years I always make sure to reread one book, which happens to be an unfinished book, so maybe I always reread it on the hopes that it may have grown an ending. But F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon doesn't need one. Because it's kind of short and I wouldn't want to lose a word of what there is I'd make it my mission to memorize ever line from The Last Tycoon: Manuscript and Revised Typescript for the First 17 Episodes, With the Author's Notes and Plans.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Aside from myself the only fictional character that I can think of that I yearned for could also be considered semi-fictional. Esther from Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Smart, gifted, well-read and extremely emotional I guess if she existed for real I'd like to give her a reason to keep on existing - though that would fuck up the ending (and I'd hope that it would change the ending for the character's model/creator as well).

The last book you bought is?

The last book I bought was Modest Gifts : Poems and Drawings by my favorite author, Norman Mailer. I got to see him read from it at Union Square, shake his hand, and autograph my copy along with an early edition of his first book, The Naked And The Dead.

What are you currently reading?

About fifty or so remain unfinished on my book shelf but one of these days I'll finish reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest because it's so d - is for damn - heavy that it would be nice not to have to lift it the next time I move.

Five books you would take to a deserted island

Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy; Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky; The Autobiography of Malcolm X; (As Told to Alex Haley); William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (which would also make good raft material); and hopefully before I become a castaway like Prospero someone will kindly write How To Go Online So You Can Blog From a Deserted Island or I'd have to settle for Jack London's To Build A Fire cause it would be more fun to read than the Boy Scout manual.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

I'll choose Ryan, because he's my number one researcher and the only guest blogger this blog has ever had; Mixter because she's my comrade-in-blog-arms at Watching The Watchers (along with Ryan so it's their job to recruit the other two: ~A! and Ed Nelson); Saurav since he's my newest bud blogger (and co-founder of Detainment; The Common Ills so that I can also include an apology in this post to C.I. and the entire community for undeserved friendly fire; and ALa 'cause she's my rightest blogger buddy (that's right in a political sense, though - now and again - she's on the right side of reality as well).


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